4 Career Challenges of a Registered Nurse

Nurses are vital in any healthcare setting. They are arguably essential personnel in the industry. Unfortunately, while nursing can be a gratifying career, it still comes with its set of challenges.

Nursing challenges have been there since the beginning of time. It is one of the reasons why it is viewed as one of the most demanding career paths one can pursue. As a nurse, you are required to care for patients when they are most vulnerable. You are expected to offer them support, and that is why registered nurses (RN) courses allow you to learn everything you need to make your career more comfortable.

Nursing being such a demanding field, these professionals still need support to perform their duties in the best way possible. They serve a vital role in healthcare and wellbeing, and that is why it is essential to touch on some of the common challenges registered nurses face in their practice.

Inadequate staffing

Being understaffed is common in most professions but only for short periods and only happens when there is a minor inconvenience. Unfortunately, nursing is one of the fields that has a shortage of staff more than any other profession. It is a massive issue and can be a matter between life and death. As a registered nurse, staffing can be an enormous challenge both professionally and personally.

Unfortunately, being understaffed in healthcare can put patients’ health and safety at risk while hurting the wellbeing of the nurse. Working long hours and having so much work puts the nurse under tremendous pressure giving them fatigue and increasing the risk of injuries. 

It eventually makes nurses unable to provide their patients with quality care. The demand for nurses keeps rising, and until there are enough nurses to meet that demand, inadequate staffing will remain a massive challenge that needs to be addressed for better healthcare.


A career in nursing is naturally demanding. One of the most apparent challenges that nurses face is that they have to be on their feet most of the time. You barely have time to stay idle as long as you are within the workplace.

You might be expected to lift the patients from the bed to a wheelchair or the washroom. It is something that can exhaust you if you are not too careful. While there is equipment designed to make work a little bit comfortable such as slide sheets and mechanical lifts, nurses still experience a high risk of work-related injuries, especially problems with the back. 

Likewise, it is not uncommon for registered nurses to complain about shoulder injuries and leg pain. All this physicality can be an adequate reason for nurses to quit their careers even when they love it so much.

Stress and professional exhaustion

Long hours and inadequate sleep can be a massive setback and affects people differently. Most registered nurses complain about exhaustion and fatigue because of having to work for long or take care of double shifts due to inadequate staff. When a nurse is getting overworked, it becomes easier to make unnecessary mistakes while still on duty.

It is a common nursing challenge that should be addressed to protect the welfare of the nurses and the patients. Workplace stress and exhaustion can lead to the inability to work well or cause depression.

Challenges in learning new technology

Technology is continually evolving and changing at a fast rate. When the work environment changes, nurses must learn new skills and practice ongoing learning while in the field. Being bombarded with new technology can get overwhelming, and nurses feel it is becoming impossible to keep up.

However, continual learning is unavoidable during these changing times. While nurses are not expected to know everything, they are still required to obtain as accurate and up-to-date information as possible. Following trends, innovation, and research may be distinct from nurses’ continuing education (CE) to establish qualifications and comply with legal provisions.

Healthcare has always been faced with several challenges, and they never seem to go away. However, new issues keep coming up, making the nursing profession more demanding and challenging to keep up.

These challenges keep on cropping up, and they can make the working environment pretty suffocating. Every nurse’s experience is different, but some issues should be addressed if healthcare is dispatched effectively.


What do you think?

Written by Virily Editor

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